University of Exeter and Santander renew 15-year partnership to support young entrepreneurs

Exeter student and graduate entrepreneurs

The University of Exeter has signed a new funding agreement with Santander that will boost Exeter’s community of budding student entrepreneurs.

Matt Hutnell, Director of Santander Universities UK, was welcomed to the Streatham Campus earlier this month by Professor Lisa Roberts, Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Exeter, to mark the signing of a sixth funding agreement.

Santander Universities UK is a long-standing supporter of the University of Exeter, with philanthropic gifts exceeding £2m over the past 15 years.

The event recognised the impact their support has had at Exeter. “Santander Universities UK’s tremendous generosity has touched the lives of so many of our students and alumni, providing opportunities for Exeter students across a whole range of activities, including international mobility awards and scholarships, and support for our budding entrepreneurs,” said Professor Roberts.

“We are incredibly grateful for the continued support and the impact that it is having, and we look forward to working together for the benefit of Exeter students for years to come.”

Emily Davies, Head of Student Entrepreneurship at the University of Exeter, also attended the meeting, introducing three University of Exeter entrepreneurs who have benefited from Santander’s philanthropic funding through the University’s Student Startups programme.

They included Business graduate Quinn Leatherbarrow-Stokes, co-founder of the successful startups QWERTY Beer Box and QWERTY COMMERCE, Line Djeokeng, a Medicine student and founder of multimedia enterprise called Royally Bantu, which aims to educate, inspire and empower students of African and Caribbean heritage, and Geography graduate Max Kennan, whose startup BiodGRADable aims to help graduates follow a green career by combatting the “feelings of helplessness that block pro-environmental action”.

The meeting was also an opportunity for Matt Hutnell to provide an update on the further development of initiatives such as Open Academy, which seeks to help people of all ages upskill and develop their professional career with lifelong learning.

Matt Hutnell, Director, Santander Universities UK, said: “At Santander Universities we believe education is today’s solution to a better tomorrow. We’re proud to continue our partnership with the University of Exeter and provide even more opportunities for students, staff and the local community to develop skills to help them achieve their full potential.” 

For more information on the University of Exeter Student Startups programme, visit